Cris Sommer Simmons Interview on The Time Machine
In the midst of a Christmas radio special on The Time Machine, hosts Daphne Matsumoto and Michael McCartney along with Summer Blue with producers Jenny Leong and Ashley Starr, played brand new Christmas songs from Lindsey Yung, Kacy Crowley, Sheva, The Cast of "Glee", The Goldbergs and Jana Peri. Dropping by to discuss her book "The American Motorcycle Girls: 1900-1950" was author Cris Sommer Simmons. Her book was a labor of love. It's a 240 page, coffee table hardcover book with over 350 photographs of early American women motorcyclists.
In the historically male-dominated world of motorcycling, no one has more passion for motorcycles than Cris. She has enjoyed a lifetime love affair with two wheels. An eager passenger on her step-father’s motorcycle at age 9, she rode her first motorcycle solo at 14, got her first Harley at age 19 and has been riding ever since. She was a longtime member of the Women’s International Motorcycle Association and in 1984, co-founded the 2nd Chapter of Women in the Wind. A year later, in 1985 she co-founded the world’s first motorcycle magazine for women called Harley Women. For over 5 years she acted as co-publisher and editor, often riding her motorcycle across the country to find the stories. On one such ride in 1989 she met her husband-to-be, rocker and fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Doobie Brother Patrick Simmons.
For several years in the late 80’s Cris appeared in countless national newspaper articles, radio and television talk shows as a representative and advocate of the growing number of women who rode their own motorcycles. In 1988, she was awarded an Honorary Lifetime membership to Women in The Wind. Cris is a 23 year AMA member, a Lifetime HOG member as well as a Motor Maid. In 1990, she was honored as a pioneering woman motorcyclist in the American Motorcycle Associations’ Women In Motorcycling exhibitin the AMA’s museum in Westerville, OH.
After selling her interest in Harley Women, Cris began a 15 year stint as a freelance motorcycle journalist, writing extensively for several magazines in the U.S., including American Iron, Motorcycle Collector, Iron Works, Easyriders, V-Twin to name a few, as well as magazines in Japan, Spain and in Australia. Cris also penned her own column for over 12 years in the popular Japanese Harley magazine Hot Bike Japan.
In 1994, Cris wrote and self-published the award winning children's motorcycle book "Patrick Wants To Ride", for which she was honored with the AMA’s Brighter Image MVP Award. The book is in it's MVP 3rd printing and has sold over 12,000 copies. In 1995, Cris was one of 4 women featured in an original documentary on women motorcyclists for Turner Broadcasting called Biker Women. This well received show set viewing records for an original documentary for that year.
In 2003, Cris was proud to be inducted into the National Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Anamosa, Iowa and the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Westerville, Ohio. In 2008 she was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Cris has co-written a screenplay about women motorcyclists and is currently hard at work directing and producing a documentary film of the same subject as her current book. Cris is also a songwriter.
Other artists performing Christmas songs heard on this Maui afternoon FM broadcast include; Wondermints, The Davenports, Fiona Apple, Stephen Cobert, The Hollytones, Monty Python, The Rubberband (Beatmas), Pat Benatar, The Sonics, *NSync, Mike Viola & Candy Butchers, Sound Bytes, It's Only Roy, Andrew Gold, Bill Lloyd, Aimee Mann & Michael Penn, Cliff Hillis and Simple Plan.
Florida's "Talk To Me Station", WMEL invited The Time Machine to appear on Pop Garden Radio's Christmas Special again this year and the show's host, Adam Waltemire, recruited Daphne Matsumoto and Michael McCartney to share with east coast audience about the similarities and differences between Hannukah and Christmas celebrations in Hawaii versus Florida. As an added bonus to this Maui radio aircheck, their appearance on Pop Garden Radio, can be heard at the beginning of the podcast.
Official Website for The American Motorcycle Girls
The American Motorcycle Girls on BlogSpot